The new School Website Service is attracting phenomenal interest from the public and school communities, with more than half a million page views in the first three weeks of operation.
The website you're reading now is part of a new online community in NSW public schools – 200 schools have gone live with freshly built websites, with another 400 planning to launch soon.
Boggabilla Central School on the Queensland border was the first school to build and launch its website, pronouncing its new look as "unreal". Principal Denise Burke said the remote school community was chuffed to be the first in the state to use the service. "At Boggabilla we always say we're at the end of the line so it's great to be the first," she said. "It's so user-friendly, it's so easy and I know how to go in, edit, add things, upload and update the site."
The NSW Department of Education and Training service provides a "website builder wizard" for schools to easily construct a website with a homepage, news items, events calendar and photo galleries. School newsletters can be uploaded and education department information and policies are also available.
The School Website Service was developed in collaboration with the NSW Secondary Principals' Council and the NSW Primary Principals' Association. The Secondary Principals' Council deputy president, Lila Mularczyk, was one of the first to offer congratulations. "Absolutely fantastic service, the best advocacy we have seen for public education in my working career," she said.
The deputy principal of Birrong Boys High, Angelo Stasos, said establishing a professional website was important for government schools in a competitive environment. "When choosing schools for their children parents do visit websites and if you've got a nice, colourful website that showcases all your different programs and achievements it's going to help," he said. "For schools to be able to so easily design and manage the website is a golden opportunity."
Shayne Player, principal of Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi campus, said her school was "blown away" by their new website. "We have a solid yet easy base from which to work and continue to grow our professional communication," she said.